A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama has granted N500 million bail to a Lagos businessman, Akintoye Akindele, accused of offering N50m bribe to men of the Nigeria Police Force.
Akindele, who has been in police custody for weeks, was arraigned on Tuesday on a charge.
The suit was marked: CR/595/2023 and was filed in the name of the Inspector General of Police.
The prosecution claimed that the defendant offered to bribe policemen, who were investigating a case of funds diversion brought against him, to enable him to escape abroad.
The charge reads: “That you Akintoye Akindele, male (49 years), MD/CEO of Duport Midstream Company Limited of D2 Mambilla Close Osborne Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos between August 5 and 9 2023 in Abuja, while being investigated by SP Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini and his team on a petition submitted to the Inspector General of Police FIB by Summit Oil International Limited on allegation of diversion of the sum of $5,636,397.01 and N73,543,763.25, you offered gratification of N150,000,000.00 and made part payment of N50,000,000.00 to SP Ibrahim Sini, a public servant in circumstance and to allow you to escape abroad and to write a report in your favour.”
The prosecution claimed that the alleged offence is punishable under Section 118 of the Penal Code Law.
Akindele, however, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him, after which his lawyer applied for his bail.
Justice Hamza Muazu, in a ruling on Tuesday, rejected the request by the lawyer for the prosecution, Simon Lough, to further detain the defendant to enable the police to conclude its investigation.
Justice Muazu agreed with the defence lawyer, Henry Eni-Otu that the offence, with which the defendant was charged, is ordinarily bail-able.
He granted Akindele bail to the tune of N500 million with two sureties in like sum.
Justice Muazu, who is sitting as the court’s vacation judge, said one of the sureties must own a landed property within the jurisdiction and should be a resident of the Federal Capital Territory.
The judge ordered the defendant to deposit his international passport with the court.
He noted that since it will be impossible to conclude the case during the vacation, which will soon end, it was nearer to return the case file to the court’s Chief Judge for reassignment to a regular court after the vacation.
Justice Muazu then ordered the return of the case file to the Chief Judge for reassignment.